Restaurant review: EightyEight at Grantley Hall
EightyEight is one of Grantley Hall’s dining experiences, offering modern Asian cuisine made with the finest Yorkshire produce.
Visiting Grantley Hall is always so exciting, it’s such a treat! And a couple of weeks ago Nick and I booked a table for dinner at EightyEight, one of the 5 luxurious dining options there.
We’ve previously eaten at Fletcher’s Restaurant (you can read about it here), and we’ve also enjoyed their afternoon tea, but I’d been wanting to visit EightyEight for quite a while.
The restaurant is located in a modern building, separate from the main hall. I’d recommend arriving a bit early for your meal so you can enjoy a walk in the Japanese gardens around the back of the building, they are incredible!
When we entered the restaurant, a member of staff asked if we’d like to have a drink at the bar, but we were quite hungry and decided to go straight to our table.
Downstairs in the dining area the decor is obviously super luxurious, with plush blue velvet and dim lighting. A lot of the seating is in booths which make it feel like you’re having a really private dining experience, and they were so comfy.
First up… drinks! We were both looking for something alcohol free, and were pleased to see a selection of alcohol free cocktails on the menu.
I went for a glass of sparkling tea to start, I’ve had this a few times before and absolutely love it. If you’re new to sparkling tea, the best way to describe it is like an alcohol free champagne. Nick went for an English summer garden, which was an alcohol free pimms - very fruity and very refreshing.
There are two food menus to choose from, either an 8 course tasting menu or an A La Carte option which we went for.
Edamame with smoked salt
Smoked aubergine & tofu dumplings
Fillet of Pork & Char Siu pork cheek
Layers of mango & thai basil
To start we ordered some edamame from the snacks menu, topped with smoked salt. You generally can’t go wrong with edamame and these were very good, the smoked salt was a nice variation to the usual plain salt served with these.
Next I went for smoked aubergine & tofu dumplings with crispy chilli oil from the starters menu. The dumplings were perfect with a delicious crispy base, and I loved the smokey flavour of the aubergine. Nick’s starter was honey & soy glazed mackerel served with wasabi emulsion, cucumber and nori seaweed which he really enjoyed. And all the food was presented beautifully on the plates!
For mains Nick couldn’t decide what to order and was between two dishes, so we ordered both to share. We went for the fillet of pork & char siu pork cheek with hispi cabbage, nashi pear & black sesame, and the chicken laksa with vermicelli noodles, beansprouts, basil, and peanuts.
I mostly ate the pork and loved it, the char siu pork cheek was so soft, and the fillet was cooked perfectly. The chicken laksa was so fresh, and it had a nice level of spice. We also ordered XO rice as a side dish, which was mind blowingly good! I don’t think I’ve ever had XO rice before, but the amount of flavour in this little side dish was incredible and is absolutely something you need to order if you visit.
We shared the sorbet selection for dessert which came with 3 different flavours… Yorkshire rhubarb, exotic fruits, and lemongrass. My favourite was the Yorkshire rhubarb, I can’t get enough of rhubarb when it's in season, and I loved the tanginess of the lemongrass.
The service was excellent throughout our meal, we were checked on several times to make sure we were enjoying the food and to see if we needed any more drinks. It never felt like we had to wait long for anything to arrive, and we also weren’t rushed.
And overall absolutely loved our meal. Nick is quite a fussy eater, but when we got home he asked if we could eat at EightyEight everyday because he enjoyed it so much! It’s certainly somewhere we’ll visit again.
Is EightyEight gluten free friendly?
It certainly is! Everything gluten free is clearly labelled on the menu (along with dairy free) and there are plenty of choices across the snacks, starters, mains and desserts. If you have a dietary requirement, you certainly won’t be limited with the menu here.
Is EightyEight vegetarian / vegan friendly?
There are quite a few options on the menu that are vegan, and these are all clearly labelled as VE. Highlights on the menu are the smoked aubergine & tofu dumplings, kimchi fritters, and roast cauliflower satay.